IBM Collaborates with American Tower to Propel Edge Computing Adoption

Global enterprises are increasingly turning to cost-effective connected solutions, with a focus on bringing cloud capabilities to the edge for enhanced business operations. Recognizing the potential of edge computing, IBM on 5th January, 2024 announced a strategic collaboration with American Tower, a leading global digital infrastructure provider. The partnership aims to expedite the deployment of a hybrid, multi-cloud computing platform at the edge, bringing enterprise applications closer to vital data sources.

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American Tower, an independent owner, operator, and developer of communications real estate solutions, boasts a vast portfolio of assets, including nearly 225,000 wireless and broadcast towers, rooftops, and in-building systems across 25 countries. Following its acquisition of CoreSite in 2021, the company has become a significant player in the U.S. data center space. With a keen interest in distributed edge computing, IBM and American
Tower are leveraging their complementary assets to deliver scalable customer value.

Through this collaboration, American Tower plans to extend its neutral-host, Access Edge Data Center ecosystem by incorporating IBM Hybrid Cloud capabilities and Red Hat OpenShift. This initiative aligns with the evolving demands of clients who seek innovative digital transformation solutions powered by technologies like IoT, 5G, AI, and network automation.

IBM's contribution to the partnership involves providing American Tower with a hybrid cloud platform and automated systems, facilitating the creation of an edge cloud at American Tower's distributed real estate locations. This collaboration aims to offer enterprises greater flexibility in deploying applications, whether on public clouds, at the edge, or on-premises.
The goal is to enable secure, efficient data processing and quick analysis closer to the point of creation.

The automotive industry stands out as a prime example of the potential impact of edge computing. With the proliferation of connected devices, including vehicles, enterprises are seeking ways to harness the benefits of edge capabilities. American Tower and IBM, recognizing the growing number of IoT devices in vehicles, are poised to assist automotive OEMs in efficiently transmitting software updates to vehicles before they reach dealerships. This move is expected to optimize efficiency, address latency concerns, enhance data sovereignty, bolster security, ensure compliance readiness, and improve overall reliability.

Jim Morrish, Co-founder and Managing Director of Transforma Insights, highlights the significance of edge computing in managing the increasing number of connected devices, emphasizing its role in delivering innovative solutions and creating new business opportunities. He said, “At the end of 2022 there were 14.1 billion active IoT devices and by 2032 connected car (vehicle platform or head unit) devices will exceed 1.8 billion, growing at a CAGR of 11.8 percent.”

As IBM and American Tower collaborate to drive edge computing adoption across industries, the collaboration is set to bring innovation to life, offering enterprises the infrastructure needed to tap into the full potential of edge computing technologies.